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Saint Paul, Minnesota – Citing the leadership of Saint Paul educators, State Rep. Erin Murphy (DFL – St. Paul) questioned the need to outsource our education policies to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who addressed a legislative committee today on education issues at the State Capitol.
“There’s a reason Minnesota students consistently lead the nation in achievement and it isn’t vouchers or the privatization of education," said Murphy. “We should not outsource our vision for a stronger education system in Minnesota to a state that has consistently failed to show strength.”
Last year Florida students' average composite score on the ACT was 19.5, on a scale of 1 to 36. Only students in Kentucky and Mississippi posted lower marks. Minnesota’s average composite score of 22.9 was the highest in the nation.
Murphy pointed to many efforts in which Saint Paul educators in particular are leading the way on reform, including innovative teacher support and evaluation systems, site-governed schools, and the collaboration with the city of Saint Paul to work on the Promise Neighborhood and out-of-school time programming. Murphy said these Minnesota collaborations are the best way to target reforms that will reduce the achievement gap.
“Reform hasn’t just been a buzz word for our schools in Saint Paul,” said Murphy. “Saint Paul teachers are driving innovation in our classrooms to improve educational outcomes for our young learners. Minnesota focused leadership should guide us forward to reduce the achievement gap, not an ideology driven privatization of education that simply has not worked.”
Governor Bush has been a strong proponent of private-school vouchers despite the lack of evidence to support any level of improved student success under the voucher regime and despite recent evidence that Milwaukee’s voucher system failed students.
“Minnesota students would benefit from a dose of reality from their legislators,” said Murphy. “Flying in a former Governor from an under-performing state to talk about ideology driven policies that haven’t worked doesn’t help Minnesota students get ahead.”
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